As much as I’ve loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy (I’ve re-watched it countless times), I just haven’t felt that love for The Hobbit. Initially, I didn’t much like the first film – I still really don’t like the entire 45 minute intro – but upon re-watching it during the holidays I found more to like in the latter parts of the film. The second film was a bit better, and I’ll say that I was at least looking forward to the last film because it promised a big battle, and, well, I like big battles. A big battle is what I got, and it did not disappoint. This was a really thrilling film to watch for me – despite the slow start – and I dug most of it, especially once Thorin returned to normal and lead the charge. I do still feel like the Eagles continue to be a bit too deus ex machina, and here it’s especially unsatisfying, in terms of narrative, but it doesn’t stop that I dug all the action and large scale troupe movements.